Bill would ban archery, trap shooting in New York schools

A Democratic lawmaker has proposed a bill that would put an end to sports like trap shooting, archery and riflery in New York’s public schools.

The proposal, introduced by Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, does not have a co-sponsor. In a memo, as reported by, Rosenthal said her bill is tied to the rise in gun violence at schools.

The bill, which currently sits in the Assembly’s Education Committee, would specifically amend the state law with a “prohibition of marksmanship and/or shooting programs in public school.” 

From Rosenthal’s memo:

“Marksmanship programs in public schools were once popular, but a rise in gun violence and school shootings in recent years has spurred a long overdue. re-evaluation of their place in our students curriculum. A number of schools which still operate marksmanship programs do so through grants from the National Rifle Association, including Parkland, Fla. high school where a former student and marksmanship team member murdered 17 students and teachers in February 2018.

“In 1990, Congress passed the Gun Free School Zones Act to prohibit the possession of firearms on school grounds, but left exemptions for police officers and school security as well as students possessing firearms as part of an approved school program. Research shows that an increase in guns leads to an increase in gun injuries and deaths, whether intentional or not. To create a true, gun-free school zone we cannot allow students to possess and discharge firearms on school property.

“This bill would increase student safety by prohibiting public schools from offering marksmanship programs or other programs that allow students to possess and discharge firearms on school property.”

According to the NFHS, 17 New York schools and 193 students participated in riflery during the 2016-17 school year. The New York State Sportswriters Association told the Star Gazette that there are 59 trap shooting teams throughout the state.

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